Archive for 'judaism'

Journey through the Looking-glass: Pope Benedict XVI's Interfaith Encounter in the Holy Land

One of the most interesting aspects of the Pope’s recent visit to Israel was the interfaith group that met with the Pope to discuss important issues and challenges that Jews, Christians and Muslims face as a faith community. Despite the good intentions of the forum’s organizers, the Pope’s desire to act as a facilitator for religious tolerance found some explosive road-blocks along the way, as they met at the holy ...

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What was wrong with Cain’s sacrifice?

A reader may wonder: What was wrong with Cain’s sacrifice?

Professor Robert Alter writes that the biblical narrator used several techniques to convey meaning, e.g., statements by the anonymous narrator, by God, by heroes or heroines, by verbal clues, by juxtaposition of material, by characterization, and by effects of actions. Applying ...

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An Email from God concerning the Holocaust

Here is a letter from my friend Rachel, who wrote the following piece of creative Midrash, which I call: A Letter  to Humankind from God Concerning the Holocaust. The theological message is priceless and this is a letter any Sunday School class can easily benefit from.

Hi Linda,

God here. I got your email. Oy vey.

Obviously, you humans have very inaccurate ...

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The Sins of Swiss Neutrality

During the week of Yom HaShoah, while Holocaust services were being observed all over the world, the United Nations reconvened its Durban Conference to discuss human rights issues and violations that are taking place throughout the world. Traditionally, the onus of blame has always been directed at Israel, as if all the other human rights issues of the world seem to pale, in comparison e.g., the genocide ...

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Questioning the Limits of Rabbinic Authority

One of the most important issues being debated today is the matter of rabbinical authority; nearly every conflict between the Haredi/Hassidic rabbis and the non-Ultra-Orthodox rabbis revolves around one issue: Who has the right to speak for the Jewish people? Historically, every rabbi spoke for his own community;  an attitude of polydoxy prevailed  and each community respected the decisions of the ...

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